When a camera spent a day clocking vehicles on Settlers Rd in Reporoa, the top speed was 81km/h, more than 31km/h over the limit.

Rotorua Rural Community Board chair Shirley Trumper was "absolutely appalled at the lack of respect".

"There is a primary school in that stretch. It is only a matter of time until something catastrophic happens."

Settlers Rd resident Glen Parker was one of a group of residents who approached the board with concerns last year.

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That prompted the Rotorua Lakes Council to set up a speed trailer to monitor motorists at the northern and southern ends of the village's 50km/h zone for a day.

From the 1028 vehicles counted on Settlers Rd, the average speed was 63.3km/h.

From the 1061 vehicles on Broadlands Rd, the average speed was 19km/h over the limit at 69km/h.

The top speed on Broadlands Rd was 76km/h.

"I was not at all surprised by the results," Glen Parker told the Rotorua Daily Post.

"Trucks go more than 60km/h past Reporoa school, they don't care."

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In his opinion, the Broadlands Rd end of town was "even worse".

"Vehicles do not even slow down for the 70km/h."

Parker said the traffic volumes through the village had rapidly increased in the past decade.

"Broadlands Rd should be a State Highway. There are more people on the road and more trucks. Logs are going both ways here, to Rotorua and to Taupo."

Reporoa School backs on to Settlers Rd and principal Richelle McDonald said the speeding was "shocking" and "a huge concern".

"We have school children who cross Settlers Rd to get to and from school," she said.

"It is not only cars, quite often trucks hurl through quickly. The likelihood of a truck not seeing a small child when they are speeding is quite high."

McDonald said because drivers were going 100km/h either side of the village, "they obviously do not think it is important enough to slow down in this area".

The council's infrastructure general manager, Stavros Michael, said four new speed signs had been ordered and would be installed at either end of Reporoa village.

Rotorua Lakes Council infrastructure general manager Stavros Michael. Photo/File
Rotorua Lakes Council infrastructure general manager Stavros Michael. Photo/File

He said they were "significantly bigger than the standard round signs and would be more obvious to motorists".

Shirley Trumper's board chairwoman report last month said she had expressed disappointment "at the length of time this has taken".

Minutes from the July meeting show $20,000 had been budgeted to improve speed signage at entry points to the village with the council.

When speaking to the Rotorua Daily Post, Trumper said the signs had been "on the go for about four to five months".

She said the speed trial showed the road through the village was "a substitute main highway".

Parker said the new signage was "a start" but he thought a permanent speed camera would be better.

He said he thought about judder bars, "but that would just make the trucks noisier".

Parker also wanted to see a school zone sign on Settlers Rd for Reporoa School.

Reporoa School principal Richelle McDonald agreed.

"Our main entrance used to be on Settlers Rd. The buses now come to Massey Rd but many students that aren't taking the bus still go the other way."

Broadlands School is in a 70km/h zone on Broadlands Rd, 8km south of Reporoa.

All Black Sam Cane during a 2015 visit to his his old school Broadlands School. Photo/File
All Black Sam Cane during a 2015 visit to his his old school Broadlands School. Photo/File

Principal Graeme Taylor said he believed speeding outside the gates had decreased during his 12 years at the school thanks to increased awareness of the school, and road signage improvements.

"When I first arrived there was a significant issue around speeds through our school zone. Over time in building a relationship with the speed camera operators who visit here regularly now, the speed has reduced quite significantly."

He said he used to "regularly phone" heavy vehicle operators to complain about the speed of trucks through the zone.

"The response there was always positive and they would follow up with the drivers concerned."

Despite this, Taylor said, "We still get the odd truck, the odd car, that is grossly excessive at 100km/h or 120km/h."

Rotorua road policing coordinator Senior Sergeant Denis Murphy said "The speed limit is just that – a limit – not a target".

"Speeding and travelling too fast for the conditions is a contributing factor in around one third of all fatal crashes and 15 percent of all injury crashes," he said

"New Zealand Police is committed to reducing death and injury on our roads, and we work alongside our road safety partners to do this. But we cannot do it alone, Police can't be beside you in the car telling you to put your seatbelt on and slow down. Road safety is everyone's responsibility."